Narendra Modi has confirmed to US President Barack Obama that he will have a bilateral meeting with him in Washington in the last week of September this year.
Obama had invited Modi to the US when he called up the PM to congratulate him.
Significantly, the meeting won’t happen on the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly in New York but in the form of a full-fledged bilateral summit in Washington.
The two sides are finalizing the date for the meeting which will be in the last week of September, TOI has learnt. The Modi-Obama summit promises to be one of the foremost international events of the year and will overshadow Modi’s presence at UNGA, if he decides to go to New York too.
In taking the decision, Modi has shown that his own predilections, if any, won’t come in the way of ties with the US.
He has, in fact, acted with alacrity and decisiveness on what many believe is going to be one of the biggest immediate challenges for India’s foreign policy — that of mending India-US ties which had tapered off under UPA-2 and then nosedived with l’affaire Khobragade.
Modi’s decision underlines the significance of the US in India’s strategic matrix. There was speculation that Modi could focus more on China and South Korea for economic gains and on an improved security partnership with Japan but these are not likely to come at the expense of Washington.